The grey seal species as a whole is under no special conservation status. In fact, many countries allow either monitored or unlimited hunting of the seals. For nearly a decade, from 1982 until 1993, Norway, Iceland and Canada offered bounties and local culls for the grey seal. Many fisherman believe that this species competes with them for fish, and seals damage nets and traps. Recently the species has been given great legal protection in Europe, and fewer culls are being authorized.
The Baltic Sea population of this species is much smaller than the two Atlantic population, probably due to hunting and pollution of its habitat. It has greater legal protection.
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
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